tv MSNBC Live MSNBC December 23, 2012 12:00pm-2:00pm PST
stocking stuffer. harold's got a box of them. it's available on i tunes, we put a link on our web site and it comes with a very handsome set of steak knives as well. no, it doesn't. it doesn't. >> you don't give out guns? >> no, no, that will be fine. that is all for today. we'll be back next week. for now we want to wish you and your family a very merry christmas. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." if it's crazy to call for
police in our schools then call me crazy. >> will we see wngton get to work in the wake of the tragedy at sandy hook elementary school? we're still no closer to defeating our enemy. >> the nation's top spy is speaking out about "zero dark 30." hi, everyone. welcome to the white house. pretty cool, huh? >> and a little later what we can expect from first lady michelle obama in her second term. that and a christmas story that is bound to warm your heart. we begin with this live image from honolulu, hawaii where the president and first lady have just arrived. hundreds of hawaiians started gathering saturday to welcome the senator home and pay
respects. inouye was a recipient for the medal of honor for his braver. kristen welker joins me now from honolulu. a warm christmas, i see. >> reporter: yes indeed. it is lovely here. >> the president is on christmas vacation and so is congress. that doesn't mean they don't have work to do as the fiscal cliff looms. i take it this is a working vacation. >> reporter: white house officials have described this as a working vacation and talks are going on behind the scenes between white house staffers and hill staffers. the reality is the bulk of this probably won't get done until after christmas when lawmakers are expected to resume negotiations. there is a lot of frustration especially among senior members in both parties in part because president obama, house speaker john boehner seem so close to getting a deal done.
they were really close on taxes and entitlement reform. we saw that last week house speaker john boehner couldn't get his plan b through the house. aides tell me right now president obama does not feel as though he has to compromise much more. he believes he has the leverage because he won reelection. >> on taxes i know it is hard for the republicans but the president ran on that platform. 250. no taxes for people below but taxes above. he won. 60% of the voters said they were for it in the exit polls including some republicans. >> reporter: there is also a lot of skepticism among lawmakers. senator joe lieberman said he thinks the country is closer than ever to going over the cliff. the last time interestingly that
lawmakers worked between the christmas holiday and new year's was in 1996. that is, of course, when they were dealing with the government shut down. politics will be put aside this morning. the president, a lot of members of congress will be attending that memorial service for the late senator. >> kristen welker in hawaii. we will check in with you again later in our show. from the fiscal cliff to gun control nra executive vice president was on "meet the press" this morning and here is part of what he said. >> i don't understand why you can't just for a minute imagine that when that horrible monster tried to shoot his way into sandy hook school that if a good guy with a gun would have been there he might have been able to stop it. >> nbc news editor is with me in the studio. there were armed guards at
columbine. >> we know the nra is going to dig in. nothing is going to change until the other side can show that it can win these kinds of arguments. we saw this with environmental regulations in the 70s. you saw this in the 90s with the assault weapons ban. i think a lot of democrats got spooked after the mid 90s because so many of them lost their seats. the nra has the power where they can say to their members go to that person's town hall, make sure that they are hit with the questions that we want them hit with. until there is a movement the other direction you are not going to see very much change. >> do you think that the nra has as much clout as you mentioned? >> i think it has as much clout with its member i think you are seeing them digging in.
i don't think this will bring new people on board. they see this as a slippery slope where people will take their guns if you give up on one thing now what is next to come. i think a lot of members of congress who are favorable to the nra, what did you hear on friday? no comment from most house republicans. if we see polls that show an overwhelming movement towards wanting some measure of gun control then i think you start to see politicians move. a lot of these house republicans were elected with more than 60% of the vote and their constituents don't want them to compromise. >> senator lindsey graham was "meet the press this morning. >> we are one law away from solving this problem. this problem runs deep and wide. i live in south carolina and chuck lives in new york. i understand how he was brought
up. maybe he tries to understand how i was rabrought up. people where i live i have been christmas shopping have been coming up to me, please don't let the government take my guns away. >> how realistic do you think that is? >> chuck is my boss. anything chuck says absolutely 100%. >> who said there wasn't politics on the show today? >> it's a rhetorical question because president obama himself has mentioned on the streets of chicago you need one set of gun rules and in wyoming maybe it is something else. i think we have seen that kind of regionalization of laws. connecticut had an assault weapons ban that didn't prevent this tragedy from happening and didn't outlaw the kind of gun you would want to be outlawed for that kind of tragedy. i don't know that the federal government will be able to slice and dice. it will be very difficult and very close if they are able to
get something done. i know there is going to be a big push on it. the president is going to speak on it. they will have to marshall all of their good will after this to try to figure out what can be done. >> all right. thanks. we'll see you later on in the show. as the nation's most powerful gun lobby group doubles down for the call for armed guards at schools we are learning more about adam lanza. the washington post today has a quote from his former first grade teacher who says there was a quiet depth to him that i couldn't penetrate. let's bring in national political reporter and bob franken, a syndicated columnist. welcome to both of you. before we get started i want to play you more on the interview on "meet the press" this morning. >> if it is crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our school to protect our children then call
me crazy. i will tell you what the american people, i think the american people think it is crazy not to do it. it is the one thing that would keep people safe and the nra is going to try to do that. >> immediately following the interview new york senator chuck schumer called wayne lapierre tone deaf. what do you make of the discussion that the nation and the lawmakers are having around gun control especially considering how often these conversations seem to flare up after something horrible like this and fade just as quickly? >> it does fade just as quickly because the gun lobby terifies any politician who has hopes of being reelected. this comes to a real test of the united states government. are our lawmakers going to be able to come up with meaningful action to limit at least the fire power that is available to
everybody. we have such a love of the gun that it becomes almost impossible to try to change things. when wayne lapierre says call me crazy, he is crazy like a fox. he has come up with something that deflects the debate. the debate is can we limit the most lethal of guns in the possession of the people of the united states. >> former head of the drug administration will be spear heading the initiative. he had this reaction to the criticism has the the nra has received since friday's speech. >> they want to focus the debate on new laws and new prohibitions and i am saying it is the wrong debate. that is their solution. i believe a better solution is school safety initiatives, one of those options being an armed presence that we have in 1/3 of the schools. >> where does the debate go from
here? to look at both sides it seems like we will never find a solution because we are so far apart especially in the hauls of congress. where do we go from here? >> the real answer is that it is a multi pronged problem and should have a multi pronged solution. so certainly having armed guards in more schools may be one solution and it could be a very good part solution but there is also gun control. there is also mental health and there is, of course, the violent sort of corruption culture that we have with the video games and movies. president obama has said all of these things need to be looked at. as legislation moves through congress maybe it will address all of these things in different packages. gun control probably will be on the table and the gun lobby will get used to it. i was surprised that the nra
didn't give up some small concession. it seemed they might so they could be a player in the debate. of course, they doubled down as you said. i think we will see a lot more discussion next year. it is not going to fade because the president has made it a priority going into january. >> it is interesting because republicans and conservatives have been taking a step away from their stance on guns. back in 1995 three weeks after the oklahoma city bombing former president george h bush resigned as agents were called jackbooted thugs. do you think that other lawmakers will take bold steps away from the nra or stay put? >> in a word, no. as a matter of fact i think those who have made steps away from the nra will probably make bold steps back to the nra because they know it is the
politicly expedient thing to do. we have a continuation of the massacres that occur periodically in this country and nobody seems to be willing to do anything. even if they come up with another assault weapons ban. the last one was so full of loopholes that it was basically meaningless. >> we will have you guys back a little later in the show. and i want to show you this video from moments ago. this is president obama and the first lady attending the memorial service for the late senator inouye going on right now in hawaii. coming up he is the leading of the gop and the senate. mitch mcconnell seems to be getting a little nervous about the rumblings around ashley judd's political intentions. in 1823 one of the most famous versus of the holiday season was introduced. nine days until we reach the edge of the fiscal cliff.
what is going to be done about that? we will ask california congress woman coming up. hi, i'm phil mickelson. i've been fortunate to win on golf's biggest stages. but when joint pain and stiffness from psoriatic arthritis hit, even the smallest things became difficult. i finally understood what serious joint pain is like. i talked to my rheumatologist and he prescribed enbrel. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, and stop joint damage. because enbrel, etanercept, suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure, or if, while on enbrel, you experience persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. [ phil ] get back to the things that matter most.
if you want leaders then you have to lead. the president has been a pathetic fiscal leader. he has produced three budgets and can't get one vote for any of the budgets. here is what i would vote for. i would vote for revenues including tax rate hikes even though i don't like them to save the country from becoming greece. >> that was republican senator lindsey graham laying the blame for the fiscal cliff failure on president obama. democrats think otherwise. let's bring in karsz bass.
thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me on. >> is there a chance the economy could fail on the extent of the greece economy. >> i was very optimistic on wednesday. on thursday when boehner could not get the votes from his own caucus for his own deal that definitely left me concerned. this is so reminiscent of last year the payroll tax cut where the house gop kind of fell apart and the leadership had to come from the senate so i think that is probably the case. >> republicans say the president has not been willing to compromise. republican congressman from ohio on cnn this morning said the president has to act on spending before there can be a deal. let's listen to that. >> where the president has not been serious is the other side of the equation. he is all about taxes and has this mandate on taxes but the spending cuts, the need to get us out of this mess, he hasn't been serious about those and
that is unfortunate. >> he is saying president obama is all about raising taxes and not about cutting spending. do you think that is true? do you think the president has brought up troupe spending cuts? >> i think the president has been absolutely willing to compromise. remember how this started. the president came forward and said $250,000 and below we would keep the tax cuts in place. he then compromised and went up to $400,000. he also put something on the table that gave a lot of people angst and that was the change around social security. so i think the president has been more than willing to compromise and you also have to keep in mind that last year wedid over a trillion dollars in cuts. i think where the compromise has to be is that speaker boehner has got to get off the notion that all republicans have to vote the same way. if he was willing to bring forward 40 or 50 members of his caucus and go with the deal pass td out of the seniate believe
you could get the majority of democrats to go forward, as well. we really have to end the notion that every republican has to be on the same page. it doesn't work that way. >> you represent california's 33 rd district. it is a highly urban area. how will your constituents be effected if there is no budget deal by the end of the year? >> we will all be effected if the sequester were to go into effect. remember, now, it is not that everybody's taxes will be raised. remember, 100% of the united states taxes will be raised if we don't come to a deal. there are other taxes, as well. there is unemployment insurance that would be cut off. if we don't come to a deal it is extremely serious. i believe the solution is relatively easy. i don't believe speaker boehner would lose his speakership if he would just bring the few members of his caucus that said they were willing to vote for his plan b, let him vote on the bill
that came out of the senate and i think we could resolve this. you also sit on the foreign affairs committee. you wrote this week saying partisan politics trumped national security. did politics overshadow the real issues of what happened in benghazi and if so why? >> they did overshadow it and it continues. we had a hearing this week in foreign affairs. my republican colleagues want to continue to focus on it in a way that i think is not constructive at all. the report came out of the state department. the state department accepted responsibility and said that they should have done more. at the same time my republican colleagues also want to cut the very funding that is needed to protect the embassies around the country. so i think it is disingenuous and all about attacking
president obama and the way that they torpedos susan rice. i think directing their attacks at her was inappropriate and they are still talking about it. >> democratic congress woman karen bass of california thank you very much and hop haappy holidays. we will hear. a second look at the first lady and the next act for chelsea clinton. you are watching msnbc. try running four.ning a restaurant is hard, fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores.
thirty" is taking another hit. in a letter posted on the cia website the director says the film is quote a draumatization and pushed back the strong impression that torture was the key to finding osama bin laden. secretary hillary clinton's pending exit could mark an end to the clinton political dynasty or will it? sources say chelsea clinton may emerge as a surrogate for her mother. she will participate on the debate of issues important to her. now that john kerry has been nominated as secretary of state massachusetts has a senate seat to fill.
ted kennedy jr. is said to be considering a run for the senate seat. and senate minority leader seems to be taking a challenge from actress ashley judd very seriously. a poll released to media outlets shows the senator leading only by four points in a potential matchup. the second time around for the first lady a new book on me michelle obama takes a deeper look at her world. we will dig into the vacancy in massachusetts and one hometown boy turned movie star who may be considering a run there. you are watching msnbc. [ loud party sounds ]
[ female announcer ] one drop of ultra dawn has twice the everyday grease cleaning ingredients of one drop of the leading non-concentrated brand... to clean 2x more greasy dishes. dawn does more. so it's not a chore. starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news. former president george h.w. bush may spend christmas in the hospital.
he has been undergoing treatment for bronchitis. a hospital spokesman says although the form eer presidents in stable condition he should build up energy before he goes home. voters in egypt appear to have approved an islamist backed constitution. women are concerned their rights could be curtailed once the constitution is implemented. holiday travellers in the nation's heartland today got a break from last week's storms. a new storm system hitting the west coast could threaten christmas travel later on this week. south african archbishop desmond tutuhas added his name to the list of those praying for nelson mandela's recovery. who was michelle obama
before she got to the white house? a new book called "a salute to michelle obama" tries to answer that. joining me now is patrick henry bass, editorial project director. thanks for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> what are people going to learn? >> we have been covering michelle obama since 2006. what we see with michelle obama, she sort of sinks like we are still learning things about here. what we wanted to do with this particular book, we have done two previous obama books. we did the obama's portrait of america's first family before they entered the white house. we looked at the first two years in the white house. we thought even not knowing how the election was going to turn out that this book was necessary for our audience. she has had an impact.
>> what is your favorite thing that you discovered? >> the book is broken down into three parts. it is one on substance and then her style and then on her spirit. her substance, initiatives whether let's move or the military families and her style is widely documented. we don't see as much is her spirit. who is she really beyond being a mother and beyond being a wife and a daughter and beyond a friend? what we realized is that being a part of her own self and keeping a part of herself to herself has been very meaningful to her and to our readers. so we try to capture that especially in the third part of the book. we reached out to real women across the country and women you may know and ask them what do they think of michelle obama and what is so meaningful about her presence in the white house and some of the answers may surprise
you. >> how do you think her priorities will change and her style? >> her personal style or her fashion style? >> both. >> she is still going to be mom and chief. that is her top priority. i believe let's move is working and the work with the military families is working. we are going to see a deeper dive into women's health issues. she was a former hospital administrator in chicago. we will see in terms of let's move a wider conversation about quality foods in all communities whether rural or urban or suburban. i believe she will be true to who she is. that is one of the things we love about michelle obama is that she is herself. >> you never know what you are going to get. the inauguration is coming up. i am excited to see her bust out something fab or could walk out as a regular woman.
>> she goes to j. crew and wal-mart and target. we see that truth. i think it iminates and comes across. she is not a politician and yet around the world she is seen as this american icon of mother hollywood a hood and patriotism. >> thank you so much. good luck with your book and happy holidays, as well. with the fiscal cliff negotiations all but dead between president obama and house speaker john boehner it may be time for the upper chamber to craft a deal. here is lindsey graham's suggestion on "meet the press" this morning. >> any hope must start in the senate. not one democrat would support the idea to protect 99%. boehner's plan b i thought made sense. to my republican colleagues the ronald reagan model is if you get 80% of what you want that is
a good day. >> senate minority leader mitch mcconnell may be key to an agreement. texas senator tells the washington post, quote, will he pull a rabbit out of his hat? i don't know. i don't know. i would be grateful if he comes up with a way out of this other than going off the cliff." joining us is jamie harrison and republican strategist chip who is campaign manager of mike huckabee's president campaign. chip, let's start with you. are mitch mcconnell and senate republicans the last hope for getting a deal done? >> this close to christmas i will say yes. the democratics can't do it alone. republicans can't do it alone. i think mitch mcconnell has been eerily quiet which makes me believe he is probably thinking about what is the best way
forward. he will try to work a deal. he has been been known to work last minute deals. >> the washington post writes the gop leader does not like dealing with the president who he feels tries to lecture him and persuade him to change his position. according to mcconnell supporters he prefers biden who is known by some in the west wing as the mcconnell whisperrer because he sees negotiating as a political horse trading. would it make sense for joe biden to handleal the situation or to negotiate himself? >> i think the price president biden is very adept at handling this situation if the president wants him to do so. this issue was discussed, debated and decided in the
november election. and so i know senator mcconnell might want vice president biden to work with him on this issue but it's the president who was selected by the american people to move forward on his agenda. so regardless of what senator mcconnell wants we need to come up with a solution to this issue. >> politico reports his new toughness is rooted in the nature of his convincing november win. so either of you who feels like starting, does the president deserve any blame for the collapse of negotiations or is it expected given that he did win the election? >> he did win the election but
has to take some sort of blame, as well. if you look at the great negotiations between presidents and speakers, even bill clinton and newt gingrich. they were coming together on a regular basis. they had a personal relationship. if ronald reagan had the upper hand saying mr. speaker i need you on this, what do i need to do for you to get a win? let's start there. obama says i don't have to negotiate with anybody. i won. that sp not the way to get a deal done. >> i seem to remember president george w. bush saying i have political capital and i intend to use it. >> bottom line is for two years i was a floor director for the house whip and my job was to get votes to pass legislation. i remember when speaker pelosi had the bill to fund the iraq war. our democratic caucus wasn't in
support of that. nonetheless she put a bill on the floor where we had to fund the iraq floor. she did it because it was in the best interest of the american people. at the end of the day speaker boehner who is the speaker of the whole house has to do what is in the best interest and let the will of the house take its call. he has to move forward on this. you can't put the blame on the president. we need to go back to the speaker. >> republican congressman said this of john boehner's leadership today. >> the reason that boehnjohn bo has trouble isn't a lack of leadership, it is because he lets people participate which wasn't the case in the past. >> do you think this is true and what other options does boehner have to reach a compromise with
the president? >> i think he is right. whenever you had whether nancy pelosi with his caucus or speaker boehner you have a lot of cats to herd. on these issues you have cats going different ways. the speaker may say one thing publicly and every member of congress feels they have to make a comment on that. it is tough to get 218. he was in charge to get that a lot of times. you have to figure out what is the best deal for the country and sell that to your caucus. that is what being a leaderer is all about. >> one more question for you because speaker boehner has been getting beat up a little bit by his own party this week. do you think his leadership is at stake? >> i don't think there is doubt that he will stay speaker. he is in good shape. >> thank you both. coming up later in our program in 1990 he signed the nation's toughest ban on assault
polident is designed to clean dentures daily. its unique micro-clean formula kills 99.9% of odor causing bacteria and helps dissolve stains, cleaning in a better way than brushing with toothpaste. that's why i recommend using polident. [ male announcer ] polident. cleaner, fresher, brighter every day. twaz the night before christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. >> first lady michelle obama was accompanied by first dog, beau as she read "a visit from saint nicholas" earlier this month. that poem was originally published on this day back in 1823. he reportedly wrote it for his kids a year earlier and then a family friend submitted it.
it spread as it was reprinted in other newspapers nationwide. the poem has been reprinted any number of times in the past 189 years. a reworked was published to remove the references to santa smoking. on the weekend before christmas we have the story of jack the bikeman. he is a guy who took a simple idea and made it into an annual christmas miracle. >> feel like a kid again. >> oh, yeah. >> reporter: remember the first time riding a bike? jack sure does. >> it was freedom. i was out of that crazy house that i was born into. and i was in an open world and i had control of the bike and it was wonderful. >> reporter: you could call him santa known as jack the bikeman. every year throughout the year he and his volunteers, some
strikingly santa like -- >> can i pull on this? is it real? >> i guess it is real. >> reporter: revive, repair and renew hundreds of new bikes and then right before christmas they give them away to families new to the country or just in need. >> over 90% of the bikes that we give away are the only thing the kids will get for mchristmas. >> reporter: lopez was one of the kids. he got one of jack's bikes years ago and now he works with jack hoping to give other boys and girls their first set of wheels. >> you are giving away something and fixing it yourself knowing it is going to a good cause. >> it is life changing for these kids. they remember somebody did something nice for them. >> all i wanted was a bike. you give these bikes for free? where were you when i needed you? >> i was here. why didn't you give me a call?
>> i am here now. >> reporter: as christmas gets closer donations are still coming in. >> thank you so much. merry christmas. >> reporter: and then the day and the crowd arrives. >> i'm excited to come here because i just saw santa claus. >> and i saw this one and i fell in love with it. >> reporter: more than 300 bikes given away, countless smiles. jack says delivering this kind of joy has actually delivered him from a painful past. >> loneliness. isolation. i probably would have already passed away. >> reporter: without this? >> yeah. >> reporter: this keeps you alive? >> i think it saved my life. >> reporter: and there is gratitude for the generosity. jack the bike man making christmas in florida seem a little warmer.
the hottest ticket right now is the soon to be vacant senate seat in massachusetts. we will dig into who is lining up to run. that is next. 7 you know how painful heartburn can be. for fast, long lasting relief, use doctor recommended gaviscon®. only gaviscon® forms a protective barrier that helps block stomach acid from splashing up- relieving the pain quickly. try fast, long lasting gaviscon®. plus the perfecting color of a bb cream equal? introducing the newest beauty trend. total effects cc cream c for color. c for correction. [ female announcer ] fight 7 signs of aging flawlessly. cc what's possible.
can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery. tomato, obviously. haha. there's more than that though, there's a kick to it. wahlalalalallala! smooth, but crisp. it's kind of like drinking a food that's a drink, or a drink that's a food, woooooh! [ male announcer ] taste it and describe the indescribable. could've had a v8.
well, one never knows. i'm not one to get into conjecture. i do have a great fondness and admiration for the political process in this country. it's a big deal for me to come down here and be on your show that i've watched so much, but i'm not going to get into speculation about my political future. i like to be involved. right now i'm really happy being involved from the outside in government. >> that was actor/director ben affleck's non-answer about whether he'll join the race for the massachusetts senate seat vacate federal john kerry is confirmed as secretary of state. whether there's a hollywood face in the race or not, there is a lot of attention now focusing on
massachusetts. let's bring back erin mcbike and syndicat syndicated columnist bob franken for our discussion. the president and first lady and bill clinton will campaign for the democratic candidate. looks like this seat is very important for the democrats. >> it is, because the senate needs every democrat that they can from the white house point of view. and scott brown is considered such a strong possibility for the republican side to take away the seat, in other words, that, as you said, the democrats are pulling in the big guns. >> erin, what do you think? is this clearly an important race for the democrats, more so than the republicans somehow? >> well, it is, but do remember that when scott brown, as a senator, scott brown and as a republican has often vote the with democrats when the white house needs him to, so even though the white house would like a certain democrat and a
certain vote for their proposals, scott brown is somebody that they could court if he then still wins that seat as a republican. >> do you think this is a do-over for them not necessarily helping out the democratic candidate in the race against scott brown? >> it may be. yes. it absolutely may be, but, remember, that the white house has a lot more political capital now after the president won re-election and the numbers are back on his side, where they weren't at the beginning of 2010 when we are in the middle of health care. >> ben affleck hasn't ruled himself out. ted kennedy jr. has thrown his hat in the ring. politico announced he could announce. what would that look like? >> female population of washington rooting for ben
affleck, of course, and if he did win, the first time in history that there's any sex appeal in the united states senate, but the truth of the matter is that would be quite an interesting story, something that we would cover like crazy, of course. >> to both of you. what other big names do you think that you would expect to see in this race? whoever feels like starting. >> the one i find interesting to watch is ed markey, a longtime member of congress, very well known in massachusetts and would be a formidable democratic candidate. >> erin? >> and there's also michael capuano and steven lynch who are both democratic congressmen from massachusetts, but none of these three have quite the star power as not only ben affleck but also ted kennedy, jr., who looks to be a big name for this seat. >> speaking of massachusetts, there was a detailed post mortem of the romney campaign in today's "boston globe." romney was reluctant to run and did so at his son's tag's
insistence. this story quotes tag as saying he wanted to be president less than anyone i've ever met in my life. aaron, he recently wrote about the optimism within the gop, but does the choice of a reluctant candidate symbolize an identity crisis within the republican party? >> well, i don't know that i know -- i know that tag romney is looking out for his father, but let's be real about this. mitt romney was not the least bit reluctant to run for president and was plotting his second run for the presidency from the very moment that he conceded to john mccain, so let's take that comment from tag with just a little bit of a grain of salt. >> fair enough. erin mcpike from rear clear politics and syndicated columnist bob franken, thank you both. >> thank you. >> still to come, are guns in school really the answer to keeping our children safe? we'll take to you one district where they are doing exactly that. plus, what washington is going to do to keep us from
falling off the fiscal cliff. we'll talk to lawmakers from both sides of the aisle coming up. this is msnbc, the place for politics. at first, jake's family thought they saved ziggy, but his connection with jake has been a lifesaver. for a love this strong, his family only feeds him iams. compared to other leading brands, it has 50% more animal protein... ...to help keep ziggy's body as strong as a love that reaches further than anyone's words. iams. keep love strong.
for their annual football trip. that's double miles you can actually use. tragically, their buddy got sacked by blackouts. but it's our tradition! that's roughing the card holder. but with the capital one venture card you get double miles you can actually use. [ cheering ] any flight, anytime. the scoreboard doesn't lie. what's in your wallet? hut!
i have me on my fantasy team. we only have nine days left here. when are we going to get serious? >> there's not going to be a deal. >> they were this close. they were this close to a solution. >> are we going over the cliff? >> i believe we are. >> a deal to avoid the country going over the fiscal cliff is not looking very good. what's it's going to mean to you and to me coming up >> i want to be able to call my parents and say a bad guy came into our school. your child is coming home safe and sound. the bad guy is leaving in a body bag. >> armed guards in schools. the nra says that's what will clean our children safe. we'll talk to one former governor who took on that gun lobby. >> thank you and god bless america. you guys are the best. thank you so much. >> then details out today about mitt romney's not so
enthusiastic approach to running for the white house and what it might say about the will challenges ahead for the gop. good afternoon. all that and more ahead. first, lawmakers are down to the wire on avoiding the fiscal cliff. will they get a deal done before the end of the year, president obama is on vacation and so is house speaker john boehner, but here's what they said before they left. >> call me a hopeless optimist, but i actually still think we can get it done. >> of course, hope springs eternal, and i know we have it in us to come together and to do the right thing. >> for more on all this i want to bring in nbc's white house correspondent kristen welker who is traveling with the president in hawaii. she joins us now from honolulu. hey, kristen. the president and the speaker are still sounding optimistic. is this wishful thinking? what exactly are you hearing in honolulu? >> well, i think that hopes for getting some type of grand
bargain have all been but dashed. the most realistic thing right now is they can work out some sort of stop gap measure, a smaller deal. you heard president obama signal that on friday when he addressed the nation. he talked about the fact that members of congress right now should just focus on making sure that taxes don't go up on middle class americans and extend unemployment insurance, so i think right now both sides are just trying to prevent going over the fiscal cliff, and then they will aim to tackle some of the larger issues after the first of the year. president obama referring to this as a working vacation. i'm also told that there are conversations going on at the staff level, but we expect sort of the bulk of the work to get done when lawmakers return to washington after the christmas holiday. we also expect president obama will likely return as well. at this point right now, melissa, partisan bickering has been put aside. you have members of congress and president obama at the funeral service for the late senator
daniel inouye. harry reid is also at that event. will he talk to president obama? white house officials right not being fairly tight-lipped on that matter. not telling us if there are any meetings scheduled at this point in time. they, again, call this a working vacation and say that staffers are working on this behind the scenes. melissa? >> hang on just a second. let me bring in nbc news political editor diminico montenero. what do you think about the majority leader flying all the way to hawaii? >> i think they realized they have three options, small deal, a big deal or go over the cliff, and right now the most likely scenario is a small deal. something that puts us past the fiscal cliff but then brings the fiscal issues into the new year which has a lot of potholes for the president. has a lot of things to get done on his legislative agenda, so worried about how going over the
cliff might impact the economy immediately. >> who is more likely to take the blame if we do go over this cliff? >> that's a lot of what we're seeing. that's why you see john boehner talk about how hope springs eternal and how the president always says, look, we can find something that gets done. this is all pr. so far the democrats have the advantage on this, if you look at polling, but, you know, everybody is going to get a share of the blame if something doesn't get done, and i think the president is -- is aware of that, but, you know, aides to the right and to the left, democrats and conservatives in -- in the senate tell me that they are skeptical that there's going to be a big deal. kind of crossed that out immediately unless some huge breakthrough happens and john boehner brings something to the floor that can't get majority republican support. there could be a small deal, but some of them are prepared for going over the cliff as well. >> let's bring kristen back. if there's no deal it becomes the first real crisis for the incoming 113th congress. how would you process change?
with new leaders in both chambers when the leaders are still the same? >> well, a couple of changes, melissa, to think about, first of all, there will be fewer republicans in the house. president obama will have a pretty strong bully pulpit, his state of the union address, inauguration address and two huge platforms to make the case to the american people once again, but you also have the debt ceiling hanging out there, so that would give republicans some leverage heading into the new year. this would be a bargaining chip for them, so there certainly would be some new dynamics, but as you point out leadership would be the same. will we see some radical changes? probably not, but those are going to be some of the dynamics heading into the new year. melissa? >> any inkling on speaker boehner's future in the next congress consideration over the past week he's certainly been getting criticism from members of his own party? >> how do you place plan "a" when you can't pass plan "b" and
if speaker baber were to bring something to the floor something that's a big deal, something he thought he and the president were really close on, he went back to the conference to realize he didn't get that passed, if he decides to cut a big deal with the president, that's where we could potentially see him have his speakership be on the line if he brings something to the floor then not a majority of his conference votes for. the problem is who could succeed him? who could overtake him, let's say, and the only person we think that could overtake him is paul ryan. there's really no indication that paul ryan wants to go against john boehner. in fact, from all the reporting that we've done, john boehner and paul ryan seem pretty close, even though they have differed on some things. it seems orchestrated, to be honest, and to give paul ryan potentially a chance later on maybe to be speaker when john boehner leaves. >> one more question for kristen. what happens to other issues like gun control and immigration?
which one of those in particular would the president most likely top his agenda with? >> well, i think gun control right now certainly has been taking up the majority of the president's focus in light of the tragedy in connecticut, so what's interesting is several weeks ago we would have said immigration, but gun control has certainly moved up to the forefront. i think immigration is still going to be a big issue on president obama's policy agenda in the new year, but i do think gun control is going to be right up there with immigration. melissa? >> kristen, thank you. >> what do you think? >> i really think immigration. gun control is going to come right after fiscal stuff. if fiscal takes up toom too much time, immigration is something the president feels like he really needs to do and with the wide margin he won with latinos, very difficult to see how that doesn't also happen at about the same time. i think most people think immigration or some form of it will have to take place during next year, but it's all going to get pushed back if this fiscal
stuff still looms. >> well, kristen welker, dominica, montenara, thank you very much as well. >> joining us now from nashville, tennessee, is republican congresswoman marsha blackburn. thanks very much for being here today. >> good to be with you. thank you. >> do you think there will be a small-scale resolution to the fiscal cliff before the end of the year? >> i have to tell you. i think the answer to that is ask harry reid because the house has passed all the bills that are necessary to have prohibited this. if harry reid had taken action on the reconciliation bill that went to him in may or the tax extender bill that was august 1 zlt and with bipartisan support, 246 votes, or the sequester vote or the bill to tax reform that went over on september 19th, we wouldn't be having these
discussions. have you to look at it and say is this a crisis of their own making? the answer is yes, and then you have to ask yourself did they really want to go over the fiscal cliff, and was it easier for them to go ahead and just let the tax reductions expire and let the sequester take place? >> and by that are you saying you think you wanted the president to go over the fiscal cliff? >> harry reid. >> and if so, do the republicans get the blame, and do you think the president wants to go over the fiscal cliff? >> you know, republicans and democrats are going to get the blame for this. everybody is going to get the blame because it's a spending problem that has been decades in the making. when you look at the trajectory of how many has been spent in this country, you can go back 50, 60 years and see the articulation of where those dollars have been spent, see how that spending escalated coming through the '70s, back down a
little bit with reagan, but not enough, and then, of course, when you reduce the taxes, you need to be reducing that spending, so the blame, there's -- there is plenty of blame to go around. i am really concerned that come january 1 you're going to see the taxes go up on people. you are going to see the obama care taxes come on to the books, and it's going to be kind of that taxmageddon, if you will, if we do not reach a resolution to these issues. as you've seen, you have to have some spending cuts and entitlement reforms to make this work. >> you told the "new york times" you would not support speaker boehner's plan "b" because your constituents didn't favor it. please take a listen to what senator lindsey graham said this morning on "meet the press." >> the president is going to get tax rate hikes to. my republican colleagues, if we
can protect 99% of the american% of the americans from a tax hike that's not a tax increase in my book. >> what do you make of that statement? >> well, you know, the senator and i have a little bit of a disagreement. i think the solution is not rate hikes in the marginal way. we know that that is going to hit a lot of our entrepreneurs. whether you put it at 200,000 or 400,000 or 500,000 or a million, the solution is tax reform. where you go with a flatter, fairer, simpler, you follow what was done in the mid-508s and lower those marginal rates. at the same time you clean up the code. that's the way to put more revenue into the system, and isn't that what the president wants, is to be able to generate more revenue? but at the same time you cannot spend that money, and to say,
look, let's put another $400 billion into this budget for the year and go spend another trillion and have a $1.4 trillion deficit for the year added to our $16 trillion debt, that just isn't going to get the job done. the american people know that we have a spending problem in washington, and they want us to start back that spending down. >> all right. if you can answer this in ten seconds or less, would i love it. at the end of the day, can an agreement be reached if the republican party will not give any ground on taxes. >> the republican party has sent several bills to the senate. it is up to harry reid to take up a bill to go for cloture, vote on that bill and send it back to us. >> congresswoman, thank you very much. we'll hear from democratic congressman steve cohen in just a moment. happy holidays to you. thank you for being here. >> you, too.
>> later, we'll take you to schools that are two steps ahead of the nra. hear why they think armed guards walking the halls are the way to go, plus what the president does that makes his daughters cringe. we want wait to hear that. this is msnbc. copd makes it hard to breathe, but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair.
if you're still having difficulty breathing, ask your doctor if including advair could help improve your lung function. get your first full prescription free and save on refills at advaircopd.com. [ male announcer ] it started long ago. the joy of giving something everything you've got. it takes passion. and it's not letting up anytime soon. at unitedhealthcare insurance company, we understand that commitment. and always have. so does aarp, an organization serving the needs of americans 50 and over for generations. so it's no surprise millions have chosen an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, they help cover some of the expenses medicare doesn't pay. and save you up to thousands in out-of-pocket costs.
to find out more, request your free decision guide. call or go online today. after all, when you're going the distance, it's nice to have the experience and commitment to go along with you. keep dreaming. keep doing. go long. to go along with you. who helped make slea difference last yearose for thousands of california foster kids. thank you for helping foster kids. thank you for the school supplies. thank you for the new shoes.
thank you, secret santa. and thank you for donating money. your generosity proves that while not everyone can be a foster parent, anyone can help a foster child. - thank you. - thank you. gracias por su ayuda. thank you. when i listen to the president, i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. i think he sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff hecht gets all this additional tax revenue for new programs. he gets to cut the military which democrats have been calling for for years, and he gets to blame republicans for it. >> that was senator john barrasso this morning claiming that president obama wants to go over the fiscal cliff. joining us now with his response
is democratic congressman steve cohen. what do you think of that statement? >> he talks about it like it's space money tann tan at disney world and the president wants to go for a ride. if he wanted to help the president go for a ride, he'd vote for the president's bill with tax relief for 98% of the american public, and $250,000 and less, and then the president wouldn't go over the cliff. they can stop the president from space mountain, the fiscal cliff, by voting for what they proposed this, doe wasn't to vote for it. they want to protect millionaires. >> would you actually argue that republicans want to go over the fiscal cliff? >> republicans -- they are in a real bind. they don't want to be read my lips, no new taxes. they don't want to vote for any taxes. they are afraid that they will be attacked in their primaries by somebody from the right who said you voted for taxes, even if it was on the uber rich so they are all afraid.
they were supposed to have come to washington to change washington and come there with the idea of term limits and not serving there as a career. they have only been there a term, and they are afraid to cast a vote that they think could be misrepresented against them in a primary because they want to stay there. there's something really wrong with this picture, and it's really surreal because they caused the fiscal cliff to occur when they raised the debt ceiling that's never been an issue, made it an issue. couldn't agree to big cuts and came up with the sequester and now they can't deal with that. the fact is you can see when speaker boehner can't even have his caucus follow him, how could the president have worked with this crowd over the last two years and all that rhetoric we heard about president obama not reaching across and being bipartisan you can see you can't go and do something with a group that's incapable of even supporting their own leader. >> so what or who do you see has the best hope to resolve this situation? >> there's no question it's
president obama and senator reid and speaker boehner. speaker boehner is one of the best guys in the republican caucus. there's a lot of good people in the republican caucus, but politically a lot of them are extremely right wing, uncaring or unfeeling about people who need help and need the government programs. you know, they are out there wanting more guards in libya, but they won't pay for more guards in libya. they want -- probably going to want security guns in schools but they won't pay for it. they don't want to pay for any of the things we need. speaker boehner can reach across and have a proposal, the president went to 400,000, i think the president gave too much, at that level get a large number of democrats and a minority of republicans pass it, do the right thing for this nation and then when the debt ceiling comes, which i don't think should be an issue and i know it will, that's when he can be tough guy and john wayne. john boehner has the country's interest at heart i think. >> if we do go over the cliff
we'll see 2 million people lose unemployment benefits, taxes will increase by $2,000 for the average family and growth will slow by half a percent. is there anything congress or the administration can do to mitigate the impact until a deal is reached in the new year? >> well, when we could g back, we can always pass tax reform that is, you know, retroactive and the rates don't go knee effect immediately so we can do something and i think we'll work on it immediately. would i hope with the lame ducks that are there they can support speaker boehner. a lot of good guys are leading because the class of 2010 is not willing to be spatesmen and politicians that make deals for the nation's best interest, and some of those people will be able to support a deal that the speaker puts forward >> i want to change issues a little bit. a moment ago i thought i heard you say as you were talking about what this do and don't want to pay for.
you mentioned arming schools. on "meet the press" today nra ceo and executive vice president explained why he oppose azkaban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. let's take a listen to that. >> you're telling me it's not a matter of common sense that if you don't have an ability to shoot off 30 rounds without reloading that just possibly you could reduce the loss of life. adam lanza may not have been able to shoot as many kids if he didn't have your ammunition. it's not possible? >> there are so many different ways he could have done it. i keep saying it and you won't accept it. it's not going to worked. it hasn't worked. dianne feinstein had her ban and columbine occurred. >> a moment ago you were talking about guns in school, and you said something that made me think that that's something you would agree w.where do you stand on that? >> i don't agree with it. i think the republicans talk about it now. they are going to use that as a way to get around the issue, and the issue is high capacity
magazines, and -- and assault weapons. i think david gregory did a magnificent job with the vice president of the nra this morning, and when he says -- he said that he doesn't think the magazine issue has anything to do with it, well, it does. lanza got the guns that his mother had in the house, and he would have taken whatever guns she, and if he had a gun without a high capacity magazine that couldn't shoot more than ten shots, that's all the shots he would have gotten off. he didn't go to the stove and pick his arsenal. he took what his mother gave him. if you had less of those weapons around you'd have more children alive. no matter what mr. lapierre said some of those children died because of the magazines being around. if we could get the magazines out of circulation we'd be able to save lives. gabby giffords was a member of my class, she was shot at a shopping mall, can't have guards everywhere.
an armed society is a polite society. everybody has to have a gun and the good guys wear white hats and the bad guys wear black hats, that's the world wayne lapierre sees. that's in the movies. hop along cassidy won't be at every school and won't be everywhere at every moment. david gregory did a great job this morning and ought to be work for the u.s. attorneys. >> democratic congressman steve cohen of tennessee, thank you very much. >> nice to be with you. coming up, in 1990 he signed the nation's toughest ban on assault rifles into law. new jersey's former governor joins us here in the studios to talk about his decades long battle with the nra. and what chris rock, gwyneth paltrow and beyonce have to say about guns on our street. we will bring that to you necessary. you are watching msnbc. amber lipson and marcy and paul kingman started north
carolina-based footsteps clothing which had a booming christmas themed pajama line. not wanting to be just a seasonal business, they added other holidays and eventually expanded to products that celebrate family life. for more watch "your business" sunday mornings at 7:30 on msnbc. we were so blessed when we had triplets
if by blessed you mean freaked out about money well we suddenly noticed that everything was getting more expensive so we switched to the bargain detergent but i found myself using three times more than you're supposed to and the clothes still weren't as clean as with tide. so we're back to tide. they're cuter in clean clothes. thanks honey yeah you suck at folding [ laughs ] [ female announcer ] one cap of tide gives you more cleaning power than 6 caps of the bargain brand. [ woman ] that's my tide, what's yours? near whiteout conditions in some parts of northern california shut down highways
and caused travel delays. a big storm brought about two feet of snow on saturday. more is expected for the sierra nevada region over the next few days, and gusty winds are in the forecast for the sacramento valley. it's now time for another visit to political playground. after the sandy hook tragedy celebrities have joined scores of americans, taking up the issue of gun control with an urgent call to action. >> demand a plan. >> right now. >> as a mom. >> as a dad. >> as a friend. >> as a husband. >> as a wife. >> as an american. >> as an american. >> as an american. >> as a human being. >> for the children of sandy hook. >> those celebrities will have to wait for any action on gun control until after christmas though. the white house issued an executive order on friday close all executive departments and agencies on christmas eve. mayor cory booker may have been
looking for frank lautenberg's blessing for the senate run but after the recent twitter showdown he probably won't get that tweeting that the nra's response was out of touch and booker agreed for the background checks to the mentally u.n. fit to which lautenberg responded. let me be clear, nra leadership is out of line and out of touch. nothing they spew should be validated. ouch. and if you'll never guess -- you'll never guess what president obama recently admitted not only does our fearless leader like the song gang nam-style, he likes to do the word. the president admits he does the dance to get under the skin of both of his daughters malia and sasha. apparently very successful at that and the "gangnam style" song has hit a major milestone as well. hit more than a billion with a "b," a billion hits on youtube. wow. ♪
president barack obama is among the mourners paying respects to late senator daniel inouye right now in hawaii. senator inouye died monday of respiratory complications. he was 88 years old. the president is also taking time-out today to visit the grave site of his grandfather, stanley dunham. i'm melissa rayberger. let's take a look at some of the top stories making news right now. former president george h.w. bush is likely to spend christmas in the holidays. he's been in the hospital since november. doctors said he should build up his energy before he goes home. a majority of egyptian voters yesterday appear to have approved the constitution and if you're on the road this holiday weekend take joy knowing that got lean prices are down. gasoline prices fell more than 11 cents in the past two weeks, but those prices won't last. higher crude prices could mean
higher prices at the pump in the coming weeks. in the wake of the newtown shooting which left 20 schoolchildren dead along with 6 adults national rifle association representatives hit the sunday talk shows to defend their call putting armed guards in every school is the best solution to prevent further tragedies. some school districts have handily rejected that idea, ours tell us they are going a big step further. >> reporter: in school districts across the country teachers, administrators and politicians are debating ways to keep classrooms safer. a police officer walks the halls in an elementary school in butler, pennsylvania, one of a growing list of school districts, including marlboro, new jersey, and orange county florida now hiring armed guards after the deadly newtown shoot >> we have armed officers in all 14 schools in the butler area school district, and we plan to have that on a daily basis from now on. >> reporter: but soon it may be
more than just armed guards patrolling the nation's public schools. lawmakers in at least ten states have said they will consider laws allowing teachers and administrators to carry firearms. in tiny harrold, texas, where the nearest sheriff's deputy is 20 minutes away teachers and administrators felt unsafe. here all students from kindergarten to 12th grade attend school in one building. in a school this small and remote, a security guard would be too costly, so here teachers are the first responders. they are allowed, even encouraged, to carry conkeeled handguns after they have obtained licenses and extensive training. >> we're not teaching violence. we're protecting kids >> reporter: superintendent says he believes the program, now in its fifth year, will prevent the unthinkable. >> i want to be able to call my parents and say a bad guy came into our school, your children is coming home safe and sound. the bad guy is leaving in a body bag. >> reporter: strong words that
worry some teachers groups. >> i just think that we are setting up a scenario where more people are going to get hurt, and the wrong people will get hurt in these cases, and i think it's just bad policy. >> reporter: and in michigan this week the governor vetoed a bill that would allow teachers to carry guns. still the idea may be catching on. back in harrold, texas, parent approve. >> i'd rather have someone at the school protecting my children than to stand there and hide them in a closet and have no way to protect them from somebody that comes into school with a gun. >> reporter: superintendent won't say which teachers or how many have guns, part of the secret he says of keeping students safe. charles had lock, nbc news, harrold, texas. this morning on nbc's "meet the press" the nra executive vice president wayne lapierre led the charge in defending his organization's stance on gun control in the wake of the tragedy in newtown. in response to a question about legislating against
high-capacity magazines, lapierre had this to say. >> i don't believe that's going to make one difference. there are so many different ways to evade that even if you had that. you had that for ten years when dianne feinstein passed that ban in '92. it was on the books. columbine occurred right in the middle of it. it didn't make any difference. >> here with me now is james florio, former democratic governor of new jersey, now senior fellow for public policy and administration at rutgers university. thank you very much for being here with us today. >> thank you. >> were you one of the first -- you were the first governor in the country to pass an assault weapons ban. that was back in 1990. what do you upon hearing these claims from the nra after the latest school shooting? >> well, the nra just works from the assumption that a small cadre of people like them that are really true believers and committed can overwhelm the public interest. what we have to do sen gage the general public, get them involved and get them informed and that can prevail. the big problem is there's too
many guns and he's arguing we should have more guns in the school and everything else. doesn't make a whole lot of sense. they also work with the assumption that when the public becomes engaged as it did in new jersey, when we put it past the strongest ban on assault weapons, that they then try to run out the clock, try to rope-a-dope people around so people will lose their focus and they won't be able to stay there committed. we have to make sure something gets done this time around. i think president obama has done a good thing in charging the vice president with coming up with something by january and then moving while we still have this pressure on from the connecticut tragedy. >> well, as you just mentioned, you ran into tremendous opposition from the nra passing this back in 1990. given all of the history where we seem to have one side of the country against the other on weapons, is there any hope at all to pass legislation that everyone can agree upon? >> if we can get the public engaged because common sense can tell you we don't need more guns. communities are not better off because we have access to uzis
or ak-47s. the fact of the matter is we understand that. the general public is not as engaged as it should be, in this case. now because of this event people will come forward and people who vote or these things in washington will understand there's more to lose in the common sense proposal than by going along with them. >> we waited a week after the newtown school shootings and when we did we wanted to warm people in school. wanted to arm guards in every school in america. one town in your home state of new jersey is planning to do just that. what do you think of this measure? >> but that's not answer. putting more guns in schools is not going to do anything. what we have to do is have less access. right now if you are on the terrorist list that the homeland security people put out, you're able to legally buy a gun. that's insame. there's a whole bunch of things that we should be doing that make common sense of the high capacity magazines. if you had somebody mentally deranged, what they can do with a baseball bat or knife is
nothing compared to what they can do with an uzi with a 30-round clip in it. a little bit of common sense is what it entails. >> james florio, former governor of new jersey, thank you. happy holidays to you as well. the renew fight over gun control has added to president obama second full term agenda. will it get enough attention and will it be at the expense of another second term agendaite snems let's bring in today's brain trust panel, awry melber, david nakamura of the "washington post" and colin hanna, former president of let freedom ring. thanks for all being here today. president obama kicked off a busy day on friday with an online petition to stop gun violence >> i wanted to take a minute to respond and let you know we hear you. now, like the majority americans i believe that the second amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. it's encouraging many gun owners
have stepped up this week to say there are steps we can take to prevent more tragedies like the one in newtown. >> in a piece for "the nation" you wrote how we the people petition for gun control which at time of your writing was righting over 150,000 signatures and so a good number of americans and lawmakers are on board, outside of the new task force. the president created to look at ways to curb gun violence. what does the president have to do next? does he have to call on the gun owners he referred to in the address to help ramp up his argument? >> right. one thing he has to do is, yes, stitch together the arguments that he's been making to the responsible gun-owning community. we've discussed the statistics that showed just how many people own guns. the other thing though that he can do is engage his e-mail list. he has over 16 million people on
that list, and as you just mentioned the article i wrote recounted how the push for gun control on the white house website was literally the largest petition ever, and on independent websites, including a petition service called signon.org, there were 300,000 and 400,000 people signing up. we're seen tremendous activity from base activists on this issue. the president has to go to gun owens owners and mention it in the state of the union and ultimately use his big list, what he calls the ofa e-mail list to put this on the agenda in the new year. >> yesterday as some gun shows were cancelled out of newtown victims and others one in kansas and kansas city went on as planned. let me show you what others said. >> everybody in line is talking about that. everybody is worried i guess about their safety, and it showed today because, i mean,
the guns -- the lines are still long, but not near as long as it was this morning. >> i believe that they will make the recommendations that will limit my second amendment rights, so as a result of that i'm here to take advantage of an opportunity to do something about that before it happens. >> colin, your organization is all about promoting the constitution which obviously includes the second amendment. will the president and other proponents of gun control ever find a middle ground with gun owners? >> well, it's important to understand the reason for the second amendment. the second amendment was not enacted for hunting and target shooting and so on. it was really an 18th century reaction to the appropriation of guns by the british, and it was to enable the citizenry to form its own resistance against an oppressive government, so it's very important that when you
look at second amendment you recognize the original intent and, therefore, any attempt toly. the right of citizens to process arms has to be done within that context. now in 1934 machine guns were ruled illegal. there are some limitations that can be placed on the right without destroying the right, but my guess is that most of the things that are being discussed right now will be found by the supreme court to be in violation of the second amendment. furthermore, i'm not sure they are working on the right problem. if you don't have the problem identified properly, you're probably going to come up with a wrong solution, and i think focusing on the weapons, on guns, rather than on the conditions which create the kinds of tragedies we saw in newtown, would be the appropriate place for the public to put its attention, but there's also no question that the public is extraordinarily and sympathetically aroused on
this issue and is demanding some kind of answer, and to a lot of people gun control seems like an easy answer. i don't think it is. i don't think it's effective. >> i want to work in dave. some are worried that the renewed debate on gun control might push other issues the president has to deal with the back burner. david, you wrote about this in your recent post for "the independent." what are immigration advocates telling you they are most worried about? >> melissa, that's a good point. the president promised coming off his election where he won 70% of latino votes that would be one of the first priorities when the fiscal cliff is resolved. we don't know when that is going to happen but activists say they want to hold the president to that promise and the problem is now no one disputes that the president needs to move fast on gun control. the president has talked about, you know, quickly moving a bill on gun control as soon as, you know, his -- the new year comes. the problem is you have competing interests and can the white house do both things at
one time and can they get enough reaction from the hill on these things? we see already the president being bottlenecked on his fiscal plan, and i think that's a problem facing the president and the white house. how do you prioritize what's important? right now they say they all are. >> stay with us, all of you, have to take a quick break later on. hear the brain trust predictions on what the headlines read on january 1st as we're sit to hit the fiscal cliff. up next he's got his heart in it, but will speaker boehner survive the fiscal cliff battle? our brain trust weighs in. that is next. [ scratching ] you're not using too much are you, hon? ♪ nope. [ female announcer ] charmin ultra soft is so soft you'll have to remind your family they can use less. charmin ultra soft is made with extra cushions that are soft and more absorbent. plus you can use four times less versus the leading value brand. don't worry, there's plenty left for you dad.
speaker boehner will likely keep his job. >> i thought it was a good point, the basic argument thinking if eric cantor is the big rival to john boehner, they have been united as the negotiations have broken down and there's a lot of diciness when it comes to making a challenge to a sitting speaker even though the tea party folks aren't happen we boehner and the white house isn't happy with boehner so he's losing on the left and the right, if you will. i don't think his speakership is in trouble right now from what reporting we're seeing >> i want you to weigh in on the fiscal cliff negotiations. clearly democrats and republicans can't see eye to eye on how to solve a problem. neither side will concede on spending and tax cuts. has there been a m miscommunication? what tax cuts are palatable and which are now? >> by focusing on taxes for the top 2%, the president and the
speaker and for that matter governor romney has really done the country a disservice. even if the top 2% were raised the way the president wants, that would bring in about $80 billion. we have a $1 trillion annual budget deficit forecast for the next year. that means that president obama's solution would address 8% of the problem. it's by focusing on the 8% and giving the public the impression that that's in fact what would fix the problem that all these parties have done a disservice. they need to focus on spending, not on taxes. if they focus primarily on spending, i bet you would see the tax situation resolve itself. >> david, let's take a sharp turn and talk about the man who came very close to becoming the next president. the "boston globe" has an in-depth look at what might have gone wrong during romney's campaign. romney's eldest song tag along with ann romney who had to we are said him to run. he was quoted as saying he
wanted to be president less than anyone i know in my life h.no desire to run. if he could have found somebody else to take his place he would have been ecstatic to step aside. what do you make of this? >> my eyes opened on that story because we know that mitt romney has run twice for the presidency. there were seven or eight other candidates very willing to take the lead there during the primary season. you know what's interesting about these postmortem store sis all of a sudden the campaign comes clean here's what we missed and didn't know. the romney campaign in this story today talking about, you know, we're surprised by obama's get out the vote strength and everybody was talking about that during the campaign. they pledged they were able to match that obama machine and that they had learned from john mccain's unsuccessful effort four years before so i didn't find all of it all that convincing, people trying to look back now and, you know, i think what is true that the republicans will look to 2016 very differently. >> melissa, we're going to come
back in just a minute, but you're not the first person to disagree with that story. stay right there. a quick break and a look at our own critical ball into the future. the headlines for january 1st when we come back. ♪ but the fire is so delightful ♪ nothing melts away the cold like a hot, delicious bowl of chicken noodle soup from campbell's. ♪ let it snow, let it snow trust duracell to power their donated toys? duralock power preserve. it locks in power for up to 10 years in storage. guaranteed. duracell with duralock. trusted everywhere. duracell with duralock. try running four.ning a restaurant is hard, fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores.
rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase. can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery. hi, i'm ensure clear... clear, huh? i'm not juice or fancy water. i've got nine grams of protein. that's three times more than me! [ female announcer ] ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat. in blueberry/pomegranate and peach.
let's bring in our sunday brain trust panel back for the first time. the last time today, i should say. ari melber, david nakamura and colin hana. let's take a look ahead to the first day of the new year and get your publications ready for january 1st. what's going to be on "the nation's" headline? >> after coming together for the holidays, will there be a new discussion of gun regulation and gun safety? i think that's the headline, and we have to have that conversation. colin said earlier in the program that the second amendment stands in the way of regulating bullets or automatic weapons or uzis. that's not true. that's not the law. that will not be the law. we need people to stop big boi lying about the second amendment and stop talking seriously about
the overwhelming abundance of guns in this country. >> david, your headline for the "washington post" reads more like a first paragraph but let's hear it. >> thinking, you know, we may be headed over the fiscal cliff, at least temporarily. i don't see a path forward right now for the republicans to agreece grow on the tax cuts. maybe the redskins in the playoffs are some good news. >> conley, what's the headline on let freedom ring's website? >> i think it's time to get serious. we've got to focus on the real problems, not making deals. we need solutions, not deals. we need solutions like cut, cap and balance that would address the debt ceiling as well as the fiscal cliff far more effectively than what's being discussed at the table today. >> a huge thanks to today's sunday brain trust panel, ari melber, david nakamura and colin hana. that's our show. thank you so much for watching. stay tuned for continuing news and update here at msnbc throughout the evening.